Just missing the top 10 on our list is one of the “big three defenders”, Olli Juolevi. The 18-year-old Finland native just completed his first year in the OHL, playing for the London Knights posting a stat line of 9-33-42 in 57 games played.
Juolevi put up an 0-7-7 in 4 games line on the big stage, helping the London Knights win the Memorial Cup. The 6’2″ ,183lb Finn is an all-around defenseman, but we’ll let Elite Prospects tell the tale:
A competitive spark-plug, Olli Juolevi is a complete, all-around defenceman that can hem the opposition in their own end or make things difficult for the opposition at home; either way, he puts the pressure on and lays it on thick. A strong and balanced skater, he can rush the puck through the neutral zone with ease or backcheck with haste. Uses his size to his advantage, but knows his physical limits and plays within them. Instead of playing overly physical, he makes his presence felt by exhibiting his high-end playmaking ability and puck possession play. All-in-all, a well-rounded blueliner who thrives under pressure and can be trusted in all situations. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
Not only did Juolevi come away with the Memorial Cup this year, he’s also got a gold medal from the U20 World Junior Classic this year, with the most assists by a defender with 9. Juolevi is coveted as one of the top 3 of defenders along with Jakob Chychrun and Mikhail Sergachyov, and depending on what individual teams need, could land himself in the top 10.
Max Jones (2016) adds a goal moments after he gets out of the box. Nice stretch pass from Olli Juolevi (2016). pic.twitter.com/nOTyQZYfL1
— Kathryn Jean (@msconduct) May 24, 2016
— Marco Bombino (@marco_bombino) May 11, 2016
— Finnish Prospects (@FINjrhockey) May 8, 2016
Why should the Bruins draft him?
He’s one of the closer “NHL ready” players in the draft outside of the top 5. Also on the Elite Prospects page:
Very sturdily built D-man that leans into his hits, competes hard, and possesses elite-level vision and hockey sense. Looks stronger game-by-game and adapts very quickly to his surroundings and situations. Scouts liken Olli Juolevi to Olli Maatta of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Both are fluid skaters and have deep-rooted understandings of their position. Both have tremendous skill and talent, and both will go far in their careers
You can’t go wrong with comparisons like that.
Why should the Bruins pass?
Well they won’t actually pass on him because he’ll most likely be drafted already. Bleacher Report has him going at 7, Draft Utopia at 4, NHL.com at 8. You get the drift. I have been unable to find any second source to this tweet, but it’s out there:
#BREAKING – Talks intensifying for the Bruins. Hearing they want to trade up in the draft. Want one of Chychrun, Sergachyov or Juolevi.
— Michael Grosso (@RumorBreak) June 13, 2016
So take it with a grain of salt.
What do you think?